MyPlate for Seniors

Two weeks ago I posted about how this semester I would be giving multiple presentations to seniors in Ward 4 in Washington, DC. My first presentation was about the importance of water and proper hydration, which went really well. Today, I decided that it would be beneficial for seniors to learn about MyPlate. When I polled the group last visit about whether they had heard of MyPlate yet, 100% of the group said they had never heard of it. Therefore, I felt a basic MyPlate overview would be a great second presentation.

Our original plan was to show a video called, Creating a Great Plate, which is a wonderful video that I actually used at different nutrition education event last fall. I highly recommend to anyone who is educating a group (Grade 6 – adult) about MyPlate.

Credit: ChooseMyPlate.gov

I knew they had a TV at the senior center with a DVD player, so I figured there would be no issue. However, the DVD player was not functioning properly, so we unfortunately were not able to play the DVD. With anything in life, you have to be able to roll with the punches because things aren’t always going to go according to plan, so we made sure not to let this impact our presentation at all!

We started out by going over what MyPlate looks like, what the food groups are, and how much seniors should be consuming daily. Unlike the Food Pyramid, MyPlate is very different because there are specific daily recommendations based on age and gender. It was important to illustrate that to the seniors so they understood how much they should be eating.

After we gave an overview, we challenged them to create their own MyPlate using the food models we brought. Who doesn’t love playing with fake food? It was also a great way to illustrate portion sizes. Additionally, we passed out some further reading material about MyPlate that was free to download on ChooseMyPlate.gov. I’d definitely recommend using as a resource.

Our next presentation is in a few more weeks, and I’m really looking forward. It’s so important to share our knowledge of nutrition with seniors, and other populations that may not have access to such information. It may seem so simple and basic to many of us, but for others, it’s something they may have never heard of or thought about ever before. It’s cliche, but knowledge is power!

Have you ever educated a group about MyPlate? What resources and tools did you use to convey the information? 

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